111228: Don’t let a looming New Year rob you of December 28-31!
I pray that you had a great Christmas season. Now what to do? The last week of the year is sort of the “no man’s land” of the year. After the build up leading into Christmas it is hard to know what to do with the last few days of a year that is soon to be filed away as history. But my dear friend, don’t waste these days…they are precious and should be filled with joy and delight. Use them to reflect on God’s goodness over the last twelve months and use them to plan on how you are going to better serve God in the upcoming year. But above all, live in the now! You can’t go back – why would you; and you have no promise of ever seeing 2012.
I was regretting the past
And fearing the future…
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“MY NAME IS I AM.” He paused.
I waited. He continued,
“WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE PAST,
WITH ITS MISTAKES AND REGRETS,
IT IS HARD. I AM NOT THERE.
MY NAME IS NOT I WAS.
WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE FUTURE,
WITH ITS PROBLEMS AND FEARS,
IT IS HARD. I AM NOT THERE.
MY NAME IS NOT I WILL BE.
WHEN YOU LIVE IN THIS MOMENT,
IT IS NOT HARD.
I AM HERE.
MY NAME IS I AM.”
_Charles R. Swindoll, Laugh Again, p. 26
What does the Bible say? Jesus is the Light? (John 1:5)
In my studies of John’s Gospel today I reflected on what John says about Jesus being the
Light. The Amplified version captures the meaning well: And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
Notice that John tells us two things about Jesus as the light:
- First: The darkness (this world system) has not and will not overpower Him. Jesus is going to win!
- Second: Those in the dark (non-believers) cannot understand Jesus. They are like dead people who are unreceptive to any outside stimuli. They can read the Bible, pray, go to church and get involved in a dozen other Christian activities but it will make no sense to them.
On a natural level, in our part of the world we are living in the season of the year where the days are the shortest and the nights are the longest. It mirrors the moral and emotional climate of the society around us. Perhaps you find yourself struggling with the reality of Jesus and the Christian faith. Just like physical light that can’t be captured, stored up and put on a shelf, Jesus can’t be captured, categorized and put on a shelf as just another one of your options, hobbies and interests. You are either walking in the light or you are walking in darkness. Jesus has to be your life or He might as well not exist. I encourage you as you are closing out another year, please do not finish this year with any doubts about Jesus Christ. Make Him the source of your life (John 1:4). Make knowing Him the paramount, passionate, pursuit of your life. Don’t let there be any competitors when it comes to your relationship with Jesus.